The Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG), second such in the State was nucleated on Saturday by R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India at National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi (NIT-T).

In 2004, the first RuTAG in Tamil Nadu was established in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras by the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, as a catalysing mechanism to provide a higher level of science and technology intervention to make the quality of life better for the rural population. RuTAGs have been established in eight IITs so far. The technical institutions carry out demand-driven technology intervention through a tie-up with non-government organisations with scientific background that have close association with the people in villages.

The mandate of the RuTAG in NIT-T is to identify NGOs involved in social uplift of people; identify and support technological invention that could improve productivity and quality of rural industries and products; and proactively identify projects that would contribute to social development through technical intervention.

Simple interventions made through RuTAGs have removed drudgery of the usual physical work of villagers in rural areas and accelerated productivity, Dr. Chidambaram said shortly before launching the RuTAG in NIT-T, in the presence of the District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan.

The Collector exuded hope that the RuTAG would find solutions to the problem faced by jasmine growers who are prone to snake bites since they have to pluck flowers in the darkness of wee hours, and the difficulty faced by tomato cultivators in identifying and harvesting only the ripe ones.

The Chairperson of Board of Governors, NIT-T Rajaram Nithyananda, Institute Director S. Sundarrajan, and Registrar G. Swaminathan took part.